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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Mad Men actors promote high-speed rail in new web video


High-speed rail has gotten a lot of negative attention in the past several weeks, particularly with Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejecting federal high-speed dollars … then rejecting a plan by local governments to take on the project so the state didn’t have to assume any financial risk … then winning a lawsuit filed against him in the Florida Supreme Court by two senators saying Scott exceeded his constitutional authority by refusing the funds … then with Scott telling U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood — again — that the state would not be accepting its $2.4 billion.

So, if you’re looking for something to give you a little chuckle, check out a new video posted this morning on featuring two Mad Men actors discussing high-speed trains and why we need them. Developed by the U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, the fictional video is set in 1965 at an advertising agency, with Mad Men actors Vincent Kartheiser, who plays advertising exec Pete Campbell on the show, and Rich Sommer, who plays media buyer Harry Crane.

The premise: Campbell is trying to figure out how to create an advertising campaign for high-speed trains in the United States. Crane tells him they don’t need to advertise high-speed rail — the benefits of rail speak for themselves.

“I think you can relax about this whole thing. I read a piece that said in 40 years, gas will cost almost $1 a gallon,” Crane tells Campbell. “America always makes the right investments. Let the government boys figure it out. Cities are getting bigger, and trains are the most efficient, economical, best investment. It’s obvious. We do not need to sell trains.”

To watch the video, click here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/9/2011